Trial underway for Vincentian duo charged with murder in the UK
From left: Xyaire Howard and Chelsea Grant
From the Courts, News
September 15, 2023

Trial underway for Vincentian duo charged with murder in the UK

A court in the United Kingdom (UK) has heard that a used condom containing the semen of Xyaire Howard and DNA material from Chelsea Grant was found in the same room as the body of a murdered 71-year-old woman.

Grant, 27 and Howard, 22, of Ottley Hall and Edinboro respectively, are charged in connection with the September 26, 2022 discovery of the body of Susan Hawkey.

The badly-decomposing body of the pensioner was discovered in her Neasden, north-west London home bound and gagged. The Vincentian couple lived nearby having migrated to the UK sometime before the murder took place.

Susan Hawkey

The duo pleaded not guilty to the offence but evidence seems to be saying otherwise as a condom wrapper with Howard’s fingerprint was also found at the scene.

According to a September 6 edition of the Mail Online, Howard is accused of strangling Hawkey, a widow and squandering her life savings with Grant, his girlfriend.

The Mail Online said the Court heard that Grant allegedly Googled “is a dead body a strong smell” and “can you smell a dead body from outside the house” while Howard is alleged to have searched for ‘Barclays transaction limit’ in the days after Hawkey’s death.

The Court also heard that the woman, described as ‘highly vulnerable’, was stripped and murdered in her own home and her life savings diminished from a balance of more than £16,000 to just £3,434.03.

Grant and Howard are said to have gone on a £13,000 shopping spree that saw them complete 146 transactions. It is alleged that both Grant and Howard also sent money to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

It was also noted that Hawley was first robbed on July 27, 2022 and then again on August 22, 2022 when her bag was ripped from her shoulder with enough force to knock her to the ground.

The duo denies murdering Hawkey but Howard has admitted a charge in relation to robbing the elderly woman on August 22, 2022 while both Vincentians have pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation in relation to their misuse of Hawkey’s bank card.

Other details of the crime read that Hawkey was partially stripped, including the removal of her underwear. The suspects are alleged to have blindfolded and tied Hawkey and placed a ligature around her neck.

“For some reason, all of her lower clothing, including underwear, had been removed and her upper clothing had been cut down the front. An item of clothing had been placed over her head and her body concealed under a duvet.

“The ligature around Susan Hawkey’s neck had been tightened with sufficient force to break one of the bones in her neck and the prosecution say that she was strangled by these defendants during an attack motivated by greed and self-interest – they wanted to stop Susan Hawkey from blocking the card and prevent her from reporting them to the police for the multiple crimes they had already committed against her,” the Mail Online reported being said by the prosecutor to the court.

Grant recently gave birth to a baby in prison.

The trial continues.